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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Dead yeast?
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Old 09-13-2008, 04:31 PM   #1
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Default Dead yeast?

I made a starter from a vial of WLP029 (German Ale/Kolsch) about 15 1/2 hours ago, and while I know there's not always a lot of activity visible, this still looks dead as a doornail:



71F, swirled many times over the first 4 or 5 hours, 3 oz by weight of light DME and one liter of water, boiled for 15 min and cooled to 70F before pitching...

Should I let it go another half day and see if there's so much as a bubble, or get more yeast? This yeast was shipped from TX in the middle of July, and although there was a cold gel pack in there, it wasn't cold when it got here. I'm thinking it's dead.

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Old 09-13-2008, 04:34 PM   #2
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is there anything in the bottom of the beaker...like a band of creamy yeast?If not I would say it's dead....I can't tell from that angle...

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Old 09-13-2008, 04:46 PM   #3
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Yeah, there's a little less than 1/4" of yeast at the bottom, but I can't tell if it's more than the amount that was in the vial.

I guess I'll do a gravity reading tonight and see where it is, and probably just get more yeast in the meantime.

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Old 09-13-2008, 05:45 PM   #4
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Are you sure it has not already fermented while you we're not looking? I know its a pain to use a hydrometer but that is the only way to know other than if you have a brix meter (refractometer). I hate that when it happens too because I paid for it and got a bum steer.

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Old 09-13-2008, 07:50 PM   #5
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I just checked the SG and it's 1.034. I didn't check before I pitched, but I have to think it hasn't changed much. I went out and got another vial; I'm gonna go ahead and pitch it in the starter.

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Old 09-13-2008, 08:33 PM   #6
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Sonnds good. It should take right off then.

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Old 09-13-2008, 09:10 PM   #7
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It'll take off with another vial, but I don't think 15 hours is long enough to judge if a starter is ok. I've had some starters take a few days to really get kicking.

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Old 09-13-2008, 09:12 PM   #8
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How refreshing it is to actually have someone USE their hydrometer to diagnose their problem. Sorry about having to repitch your starter though, but sadly, that it pretty common with mail order yeast in summer....

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Old 09-13-2008, 11:39 PM   #9
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This is kind of ironic but I am in the exact same situation with the same exact strain of yeast. Mine is 48+ hours with no visible evidence of fermentation. Cant think of anything that would have caused it to not work. Ill probably just buy another vial.

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Old 09-14-2008, 11:26 PM   #10
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Second vial did the trick. I guess the first one was dead.



The brew day was shot due to the remnants of Ike anyway. I have a bunch of walnut trees in my backyard and we had up to 75 mph gusts today. Walnuts flying everywhere. It wasn't safe to be out there.

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